In January 2012 Ken was ordained as associate pastor for New Life Community Church. A few months later Ken dropped by his doctor to have them check out what seemed to be a small problem. What followed was a journey that few survive.
At the doctor’s office Ken described his symptoms to the nurse, simply put, shortness of breath. After hearing Ken’s description the nurse called an ambulance to take him to the emergency room. After a battery of tests the doctors decided that Ken needed bypass surgery. In a classic case of hurry up and wait, Ken’s surgery was delayed for several weeks. On April 5th he had a triple bypass and began his road to recovery.
A couple of weeks after Ken’s release from the hospital on April 14th Linda, his wife, was awakened by a thump. Since his release Ken had been having trouble sleeping so it was not unusual for him to get up in the middle of the night. This morning however he was feeling dizzy and missed the bed when he sat to put his pants on. While Ken thought he would be fine, Linda insisted that they go to the emergency room. Linda thought it would be best at the time to take him herself instead of waiting on an ambulance.
Once there the hospital began to perform the tests to determine what was going on. As it happened his surgeon from his bypass surgery was available to oversee the tests. When they laid Ken back for a CAT scan his heart stopped. Linda, in the waiting room, heard the Code Blue call but did not know that it was Ken. They were able to restart Ken’s heart but knew something major was happening. The surgeon made the call to perform emergency surgery. Linda was informed of the decision but not given any details or even what to expect. Phone calls and text messages began to fly out and prayers began to be offered on Ken’s behalf. For six hours the only news was that the surgery was progressing. Eventually the hospital chaplain relayed that the surgery was over and they were in the process of warming Ken. A few hours later it was announced that he was in recovery.
Later it was revealed that Ken had a tear in his aorta. Because of the blood thinners he was on they were not able to operate immediately but had to use cooling techniques to bring his core temperature down, way down. The cooling had a severe effect on his brain. For several days afterwards Ken, although awake and moving, was not aware of his surroundings. He was easily agitated, always moving his feet, and did not react as expected to the people and things around him. At the time it was not known if this was permanent or not. But a few days later he began to “wake up.”
Ken spent 15 days in the hospital and has been on the road to recovery ever since. The skeptic will see nothing more than a series of fortunate coincidences in Ken’s story. However, a person with faith will see the unmistakable hand of God. What if Ken had not stopped by his doctor? What if Linda had not woke up? What if the surgeon was not present when Ken’s heart stopped? Ken and Linda can tell you of many other “coincidences” that occurred during their journey. God’s handiwork is all around us; we simply need the eyes of faith to see it.